Beacon Transcript – The discovery of more than 100 new animal species in the Southeast Asia region brings hope as the local fauna and flora is under a lot of stress.
Recent surveys have drawn more and more attention to a big problem. An increasing number of species is declared threatened or endangered. Most such problems are caused by human-related activities.
Be it poaching or habitat destruction, man has left quite a negative mark on nature. However, all is not lost. The continuous natural cycles have revealed the existence of new species.
Current animal and plant species should be protected. However, the discovery of new species should also bring joy.
The discovery of more than 100 new species should increase hopes of natural survival. Especially so as they are in quite a delicate area.
Southeast Asia, more exactly, the Greater Mekong region is seen as biological treasure trove. The area has long since been known as hosting unusual and rare specimens.
This Monday, the WWF released their 2015 annual report. In it, they reported the presence of the 150 new species.
WWF or the World Wide Fund for Nature is a non-governmental organization. Established in 1961, it has gained an international recognition. WWF has come to be the largest and most supported conservation organization.
Its aim is to protect the planet and the natural environment. By doing so, they hope to ensure both a harmonious human and natural life.
With its annual report, the WWF seeks to draw attention to a number of facts. One of them is the threat posed by uncontrolled development. Another is the illegal wildlife trading.
Still, the 2015 report also came with good news. The Mekong River area spans over a number of countries and regions. They include parts of China, Thailand, and Laos. These are just some of the areas traversed by the river.
The area is known to host a wide variety of species. As such, it also a hotspot for conservation scientists. They are attracted by the natural biodiversity that is still revealing itself.
At the same time, they are also trying to salvage and protect such species. The Mekong river has started being threatened by human practices. Poaching and plot development are starting to influence the habitat.
As such, the researchers fear that many species may be endangered. Perhaps even worse, they could be lost before being detected.
The discovery of more than 100 species has come as a ray of hope. Both fauna and flora species were found. Amongst them are about 120 plant types.
Three new mammal species were discovered, as well as 14 new reptiles. Nine amphibians and eleven fish species round up the list.
Amongst the most interesting discoveries is a rare snake specimen. Parafimbrios lao is a rainbow-headed snake. Its unusual properties have determined the creation of a new genus. At the same time, its natural habitat is very reduced.
According to research, the species is also undergoing changes. Some would even name them significant and destructive.
Tylototriton anguliceps is another very interesting find. A newt species, they are very rare in Thailand. This is the latest and fourth local newt specimen.
More research is needed in order to properly classify the new fauna and flora types. In many cases, their status is mostly unknown. Scientists have yet to determine if the species are safe. Or on the contrary, if there are threatened or endangered.
Still, a proper identification could be vital. This is the one method of ensuring proper policy decisions. It would also influence conservation efforts.
Scientists are also hoping to develop genetic profiles of the rare species. The discovery of the new species could potentially advance this plan. It might also help diminish illegal wildlife trading.
Image Source: Wikimedia